Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is coming....

Cue Christmas music in the background,  decorations on the tree twinkling......How exciting, Christmas is coming and all five of us were actually together today - first time since September 14th.....I had to go back through the posts to find out when it was - Christmas is obviously the common factor as that day we were doing the Christmas tree workshop with Janet. How many of us have that finished I wonder .... I haven't....shame on me!

It was a beautiful day although a little breezy and cool.The girls made good time down to Hampshire without any unplanned diversions. Chris was coming down later with the Tuesday Girl puppy.

As usual the day started with muffins with tea or coffee and in honour of it being our Christmas get together we started off in the comfy seats in front of the wood stove. 

Before we got into Christmas mode, we celebrated Janet's birthday- only a couple of weeks late and lots of lovely pressies were opened. Lots of sewing and scrapbooking related packages.

We even managed to get a bit of sewing/knitting done before lunch and a bit of show and tell.

Caroline was showing a lovely star top which she was undecided about whether to extend it or just finish it there. It looks gorgeous. I think I am right in saying that this was the result of a class at Needle and Thread in Horsell but I can't be certain as I was in the kitchen at the time.

Caroline very kindly brought some spiced berry cordial so we had some driver safe hot 'mulled wine' to set the scene before lunch. it certainly helped create the atmosphere.

Chris had arrived by this time and the puppy had had her walk and was now looking very much at home!

Lunch was lasagne and salad followed by apple and mincemeat pie.  Apples from our garden and homemade mincemeat no less!

Then came the present exchange! So exciting!  What is lovely is the amount of thought that goes into the chosen gifts, ranging from the downright cute to the delicious home bakes/preserves. Everything was so beautifully presented. 
Thank you so much everyone! We know how much it is appreciated by us all.

Amanda was very keen to get back to some sewing as she had a challenge to get finished for that night for Guildford Embroiders Guild. It is now safe to show her entry. The challenge was to create something from a variety of given materials. She had a few beads still to sew on and a bauble for the top before putting the tree in its pot. I think you'll agree that it is very festive and glamorous.

Chris was knitting handwarmers as a gift which will be most useful as the weather seems to be getting colder as each day passes.
Unfortunately the photo is rather blurry so I am keeping it small!! Maybe the photo is not blurry maybe it's the speed at which Chris is knitting!!

Janet was sewing binding onto Stephanie's quilt, don't the fabrics remind you of a summer's day? it is such a pretty quilt.

I have started the blanket stitching round the edges of my Mandy Shaw cushion cover. I saw this cushion at the Patchwork Dog and Basket in Lewes and loved it. I have had it cut out for a while but just started sewing it. It's a red wool felt being sewn onto a creamy white felted wool - it wasn't felted wool when it was my mum's favourite sweater.....oops!

I felt it was a Christmassy type project to be working on at the moment. it is amazing how quickly it works up.

Caroline was working on a very fine cross stitch I didn't manage to catch a picture of the whole design but what she has done looks lovely - we have all found that we need so much more light to see fine work now that we are older more experienced in life. I can see us all in the future all sitting round the table wearing head torches with magnifiers attached - what an image!

Everybody set off for home just as the light was starting to fade. 

So it remains for me to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2012.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wild Day in Surrey

The weather was a bit wild in Surrey today,  it was very dull, which meant we had the lights on all day and it was very windy.

There would only be three of us this morning, Amanda, Chris and myself, with Amanda staying for lunch and Chris popping for a cup of tea.

Alison had other plans today and Caroline was still in Brazil attending a friend's wedding.

As usual we started with cups of tea with hazelnut and chocolate chip biscuits and chocolate chip muffins and catching up on our news.

Amanda was continuing to make the flowers for the grandmother flower garden quilt, as you can from the tin Amanda has quite a few to make.

Chris was knitting (I think) hand warmers, in a variegated yarn from Sirdar called Escape.

I was sewing the ends in on Stephanie's Strawberry Fields quilt.

Chris left before lunch and we were joined by Stephanie.  We had jacket potatoes, tuna and salad followed by 'After Dark Hot Chocolate Melting Middles by GU.

After lunch, Stephanie went back to her studies, Amanda continued with her flowers.

I got out my Diamond Star quilt that's I have doing over papers, this is an ongoing project that has been going for at least 18 months! I have been undecided on the finished quilt, but have now decided on a table runner, just a little unpicking and then I can carry on.

Until next time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brightening up a miserable day!!

Caroline, our long lost friend, arrived first looking very slim but tired.  Caring for relatives is obviously hard work but seems to be good for the diet!! Lovely to see her & we wish her all the best for a fabulous holiday in Brazil.  Enjoy the wedding Caroline!

We started with the usual, tea & cakes.  This week "Apple, oat & raisin spiced muffins"

Having discussed Japanese folded patchwork last week, Alison was finishing one of her "UFO's", a folded hexagon from a demo at Thameside Quilters last year.

                                    Janet decided to finish the binding & sleeve on a demo quilt for Needle & Thread.
 The pattern is from "Scrap Basket sensations" & Janet used a fabric range called 'Hometown' by Sweetwater for Moda.

I did make some lovely pumpkin & chorizo soup for our lunch but had some hungry visitors at the weekend so it was a warming sausage casserole followed by plum crumble (must free up some space in my freezer!) for lunch instead!

I have been trying to finish some tassles for my sister for her table runner for ages & managed to get them almost completed - they are quite fiddly & I now know why I usually buy them ready made!!

Janet has been busy & showed us the quilt top for her daughter Stephanie, to go in her newly completed bedroom.  It is made from a charm pack & layer cake using 'Strawberry Fields' by Fig tree from Moda.
Love the colours.  Turning the squares onto point makes a lovely change.  Lucky Stephanie!!

A few cups of tea later, it was starting to get dark.  No more room for cakes so we all packed up.  The days seem so short at the moment but it is lovely to shut the curtains & settle in for a night of stitching!
I managed to purchase more of my background fabric (for the hexagons from last week) at 'Patchwork Cabin' in Bookham, so watch this space....I may tick off one item from my ever growing list!

Looking forward already to next week.  Chris you were missed, maybe soon we can be the Tuesday 5 again!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's been a long time!

It certainly has been a long time since Hampshire was the venue for the Tuesday Girls get together, so it was a bonus that it was another beautiful day for the drive down. The countryside is looking particularly lovely at the moment which made for a very pleasant journey for Janet and Amanda. Chris and Caroline, you were missed, hope it won't be too long before we all get together again. 

We quickly had the kettle boiled, the tea made and then enjoyed banana and chocolate muffins. Just as I was about to put up the picture I did wonder how muffins have been pictured on this blog already - too many for our waistline I would imagine!

Before we started the stitching for the day we played with settings for the hexagons that Amanda has been busy making over the weeks. we all agreed that a traditional grandmother's garden setting suited them best. So Amanda got busy stitching her flowers together.

Janet and I were busy cutting more blocks for our Farmer's Wife Quilt and we talked about having a special Farmer's Wife day .......all sorts of wonderful ideas were put forward .....from the funny to the ridiculous.

After a lunch of butternut squash soup followed by apple crumble, we got back to sewing. Amanda and Janet continued with their hexagons and cutting blocks but I decided to have a change - mainly because I was about to cut a 6 " block with 32 pieces and I didn't fancy that much! 

I carried on with some Japanese folded patchwork. These were blocks for a project that Southampton Quilters are organising. They are fun to do and a great take along project.

All too soon it was time to pack up and for Janet and Amanda to head off home, but not before Amanda put the last few stitches into her final flower for the day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I forgot ...

I forgot ... that it was me who needed to write the blog! No-one has commented on my lack of an entry, but apologies for the delay!

Trying to think back to last Tuesday is a struggle for the brain cells at the moment, Tuesday is a distant memory. I was hoping the photos would work as prompts. but I seem to have misplaced them between Tuesday and today. Amanda & Janet were able to join me for a simple lunch of baked potato, fillings and salad. Janet is making lovely progress with her Farmer's Wife blocks, all sewn on her featherweight. Amanda was preparing for a workshop - a very busy lady!

Above is a recent photo of the puppy (now 13 weeks old), who is preventing me from doing any sewing at all at the moment! She is adorable - but time consuming. Molly (seen with her in the photo) has been very patient and puts up with being pounced on and chewed upon at regular intervals.

I am unable to get to the next couple of Tuesdays but hopefully the hostesses will do better with the blog than I!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Today was a special day in our house, it was the Honorary Tuesday Girl's birthday, so as she was at Uni for just the morning we were having a special lunch, also on the previous Saturday it had been Chris' birthday too.

Alison was the first to arrive having driven up from Hampshire, bring with her Apple Spiced Muffins to have with our morning tea, followed by Amanda.  Unfortunately, Chris had to work in the morning, but would arrive in time for lunch, bring with her, by special request of the Birthday Girl, her Border Collie puppy Berry.  Caroline was not with us, as she is looking after her parents-in-law.

This was the first time for a few weeks that the four of us have managed to be together, so there was quite a bit of catching up to do.

Alison was hand quilting her Washed and Worn Quilt, Amanda was calculating the fabric she need for some blinds for her new home and I was finishing some cross stitch.

For lunch we had Lasagne (requested by the Birthday Girl) with Ciabatta bread and salad, followed by a chocolate cake from a recipe from Lorraine Pascal book Baking Made Easy, it was very nice. We had two rounds of 'Happy Birthday and blowing out of candles, more tea and chatting, and it was time for everyone to make their way home.

I apologise for the lack of photos, I had forgotten to take them by lunch time.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just a note

Just a quick note to let you know what we have been up to this week. I'm afraid there are no photos as there were only a few of us - this maybe the case over the next couple of weeks.

Caroline was unable to come and may not be able to make the next few weeks as she is looking after her parents-in-law.

Alison had other plans.

Chris popped in for an hour with her puppy Berry. Our cats, Pippa and Fizz were curious over the little bundle of black and white fur.

After Chris left, Amanda arrived in time for lunch, jacket potato with tuna and salad, with apple crumble and ice cream for dessert.

After lunch, Amanda was cutting our templates for a mini workshop at Guildford Quilters.

I was making more Farmer's Wife blocks or rather I was unpicking and re-sewing a block which seemed to take all afternoon!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Postcard from Normandy

Hi All,

We are having a lovely time. A very nice cottage.  The weather is beyond belief.

We went to the medieval town of Dinan on Thursday to see the market and stopped at the gardens of Chateau La Ballue, which we had to ourselves.

Friday we went up the west coast towards Granville. Andrew took photos of  Mont-Saint-Michel, and then onwards to Coutances to a quilting shop!! We stopped at Chateau de Gratot on our way back.

Today we went up the other side of the coast towards Barfleur, and then followed the coast road down to Utah Beach and Sainte-Mere-Eglise.

Tomorrow we are going to Mont-Saint-Michel.

So far I have finished one book and complete the cross stitch I have working for ages.

See you all soon.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quilts, A New Home and A Holiday

Well, today was certainly a challenge as I had a myriad of things to achieve.. and one of them was to get my sense of direction oriented.  Amanda was hosting today's get-together, but as she is literally still moving in to her new house, I said I would complete the blog as she is without internet etc.. due to a hiccup with BT.  Janet has gone on holiday to France (such beautiful weather to have too) and Chris was arriving later due to work commitments.

My first task was to find where she had moved to.... I thought I had the correct address (having left it on my cutting table!!!), so I phoned her, being unable to find the house and no, I was one road to soon!  LOL  Having found where I should be, I then unpacked my bits and pieces and discovered I was the first to arrive.  Two cuppas and a wonderful piece of chocolate cake later, Alison arrived...

with a huge potted plant for Amanda (house warming gift),  amidst a flurry of activity outside (dustmen, Sky engineer etc...) but soon, we were settled to some quilting activities.   More tea and some lovely little meringue confections from, I think, Brittany, were also served.
Show and Tell was rewarding as Alison had her Christmas 'block of the month' quilt top almost completed... we all had differing opinions on the colours we liked on the quilt, but it is still a really jolly example of Christmas - looking at it also brought home the fact that the season of cheer is not too far off now. HELP! 

 I had almost completed a black and white (disappearing 9 patch) quilt for an acquaintance.  This has involved  the purchasing of 27 different fat quarters over about 14months and finally cutting out the 6" squares whilst we were on holiday; I had so little work last week, I was able to machine them into the 9 patch blocks, re-cut and then stitch them together in a matter of days ( a miracle in itself).  So, with machine at the ready, I was able to complete some of the quilting at Amanda's. 

In the mean time Amanda was working on her own project... no photos as I was so engrossed in mine, I forgot to photograph hers!  Apologies to you Amanda.

 Alison began to sew some more of her Farmer's wife blocks and by this time, Chris had arrived, showing us a rather nice blue and yellow charm square top which her mum had begun and given to her.  We then looked at a lovely selection of 'leaders and enders' blocks which we played around with for positoning, as she had cut both triangles and rectangles.  We came up with some reasonable ideas which Chris is now considering.  (At this point my camera ran out of power!!!! So the rest of the photos are on my phone which needs an adapter card to put in my computer... so watch this space for them, please!)  All now updated!


Lunch was served... a really tasty spicy pumpkin soup with Tiger bread (no recipe as it was from our local Co-op due to Amanda's hectic moving in schedule!).  Desert was a choice of yogurts.. very yummy and of course more tea!  We chattered about many different topics during the day, ranging from my diet, children with sight 'problems' to moving home, (very topical) and plumbers.. which I was about to dash home for as I received a text to say he was coming earlier than 'anticipated'.  SO.... once lunch was over, I had to leave... after another little meringue and of course, a mug of Tea!  I think we all achieved at least a few elements of our current projects, whilst putting the world to 'rights' and getting small issues 'off our chests'! LOL...

Until next time dear reader...!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Christmas in September

Today would be slightly different as Alison, Amanda, Caroline and Chris were coming to do a mini workshop. I had made a Christmas quilt sample for Needle and Thread using the Basic Grey range of fabric called Jovial, (which  can be seen in a post in July), and they thought they would like to make quilts using the same pattern.  Caroline and Amanda were using the Jovial range,  Chris was using a range by Kate Spain called the 12 Days of Christmas and Alison would be making a scrappy version.

Amanda arrived first followed shortly by Alison and Chris, Caroline would be a little late as she had an earlier appointment.

As usual we started with tea and  banana and chocolate muffins from Alison and then were quickly down to cutting fabric. 

By lunchtime, most of the cutting was done and the sewing had begun.

For lunch we had chicken and bacon lasagne from Amanda with salad from Caroline. For dessert we had cider crumble slice with creme fraiche from Janet - this was a recipe from the Caked Crusader's blog. 

Chris left soon after lunch, Alison, Amanda and Caroline continued on not even stopping for tea and cakes, they just ate, drank and sewed!!  With our tea we had cupcakes from Stephanie (honorary Tuesday girl for the day) and caramel crisp and flapjack mini bites from Chris.

By 4 30pm Alison Amanda and Caroline were finished for the day having made lots of trees. Alison and Amanda had made over 20 each and Caroline a few less.  In a e-mail, Chris told us she had continued at home and had made 20 trees.

A very productive day, watch this space for the finished quilts!

And as usual a great day with great company.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No more salad

It would be lovely to write of the blue skies of Summer but they seem to be hiding behind the clouds. Watching the weather forecast on Sunday evening it was obvious that Tuesday would not be a day for salads; time to think about soups and casseroles instead.

Poor Alison had a slow drive through rain to reach us and Caroline texted from The Lake District that they were "surveying the Langdale Pikes in gale force winds" before deciding to visit Lakeland Plastics instead! I hope the weather improves for the remainder of her holiday!

We had no specific plans for the day's sewing so all did our own thing as we caught up on our lives. Amanda is preparing to move house and soon she'll be living just around the corner, handy for coffee and the shop! Janet is thinking about her forthcoming holiday. Alison is collecting jam jars as she will be doing more preserving from the garden in the coming weeks. I was sharing photos of our forthcoming puppy.

Alison is hand quilting - beautiful blues and greens in this quilt - not much more to stitch

Janet continued preparing the next few blocks from The Farmer's Wife quilt

Amanda cut and prepared hexagons

I managed a few rows of knitting

Next week, we have plans ... you'll have to come back to see!